Saturday, January 31, 2009


Apparently hotels in Leicester don't have any rooms for the night I need to be there because its Valentines Day. Are people really that unromantic that they will take their partner to Leicester for Valentines Day? Gone are the days of Paris, Prague or even somewhere like Bath. No, now all you need to woo a lady is to whisk her to Leicester where the streets are just filled with love, obviously. Maybe they can walk arm in arm and stare at the slip road to the M1 to ignite that passionate fire. To be fair I was going to book a hotel for and my girlfriend for V-Day in Leicester but that was only because I have to be there and it means I was vaguely doing something for it. Now it appears I won't even see her on the overhyped waste of a day and so adding another notch to a collection of facts that can be used in an argument at a later date. 

I've now only got two weeks to go till Leicester and a week till my preview and my show is still a collection of scrappy notes. I have no idea what order the notes go in and I keep changing my mind as to what to write. I'll admit, there is some fear right now. I hope I get struck with some genius, or in fact just struck, then I wont have to do it. I only work when I have a deadline so I suspect that suddenly on wednesday I'll write it all. I hope this is the case anyway, otherwise all 6 people that are coming to see it will be very sad. 

I left Liverpool yesterday afternoon after having a free lunch in my friend's restaurant. It was a very nice lunch, made 100% nicer by being free and hanging out with my friend. Some people say there is no such thing as a free lunch. Well there is, I had one. I have defeated a myth and emerged full of thai curry. Not quite as impressive as dragon killing but along the same lines. Afterwards I scarpered to Halifax for a gig that promised goodness and turned out to be lots of starey people with a quarter of the room actually laughing. I'm not sure what went wrong to be honest. It was a great venue, staff were lovely, the room was sold out but after my first 5 minutes of my half and hour set, they were less than impressed. So not to let anyone down I insulted a man with a beard every 7 or 8 minutes which seemed to keep them on side. Apart from the man with the beard of course, who hated my face. It was an adequate performance but not great and I ran away leaving them with Mitch Benn to cheer them up. 

The home journey was most of the excessively dull M1 all the way. They need to do something to liven that road up. Its so long and straight and boring. Maybe some big television screens, or some obstacles you need to avoid, something just to keep me awake. What they definitely don't need is to reduce all the traffic to one lane just when I am 30 miles from home. Strangely that is exactly what they did. I was forced to visit my favourite coffee man in the Costa at Watford Gap. He enjoys being as rude and as slow about everything as possible. Its almost as if he feels that because his life is ruined by working in Costa at 1am every night, that he in turn, must ruin your life as much as he can. Unfortunately for him I find everything he does, from his constant miserable sighing to the way he can literally throw coffee into a cup, absolutely hilarious. I'm sure it would kill him to know that, although that might be a better alternative to him that being in Watford Gap on a friday night serving coffee. I think I am going to buy him a small violin for the next time I go there. I think he'd like that. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

The 'Pool

I've been left in my friends', Amy and Andrew's, flat while they've gone to work. Even though they are extremely chilled people and I am not the sort that causes masses of mischief I always feel an air of paranoia about being left in someone else's home by myself. Like I might accidentally do something wrong and break everything. I've seen Home Alone and Home Alone 2 and I know what can happen. Just to be sure I have set up several traps with paint buckets and ladders. I'm sure Amy and Andrew won't mind when they realise that its all in the interest of safety.

Last night's gig was an odd one. I've been told that the gig can either be rowdy or too laid back, and I went in expecting the former. Turned out, it was the latter. Laid back was perhaps too optimistic a term as some of the crowd seemed positively asleep. They weren't by any means horrible, but they also weren't vocal, just the listening types. That is a quality many women would pretend to admire in a man, but for an audience it needs to be supplimented with some enthusiasm. As a result, there weren't too many places to pause for pacing and I rattled through 25 minutes of material in just 20 minutes. We then had a drink or two, watched a new open spot called Curtis do pretty well (and he's only been going for 9 months, something tells me we should kill him now before he gets far too good!) and some of Jay Ryan's set which was also great, before scarpering into the cold. Liverpool is so so cold. Colder than you can imagine. Imagine coldness. Yeah its worse than that. Someone should really sort it out. And its no longer the city of culture anymore which must be a bit of a sting. I wonder if that means Europe piles in and takes all the culture away for someone else to have for a year.

I'm meant to be writing my show today. I have my solo preview in just over a week and so far my show is just a mess of bits of material. I have changed the theme of it all about 7 or 8 times and I'm still not sure how to end it. At the moment I'm considering just doing jazz hands and saying 'Ta Daa!' then running away. I think that might work.

I thought a day in Liverpool might be the key to finishing off the first draft. Unfortunately we stayed up last night drinking beer and watching Robot Chicken and very old Comedy Store on Paramount so my plan has all gone a bit wrong. In but a few hours I'm off to Halifax which is a place and not just a giant bank. At least I hope it isnt. If I get there and everyone is singing 'who gives you extra' I will get violent.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm quite looking forward to my long drive to Liverpool today. It gives me time to use all my new car gadgets that haven't been put through a proper trial yet. The first is my new itrip that plays my i-pod through the car radio. It finds a free frequency and transmits all your tracks. Its a brilliant device and works very very well. Except in London, because there are too many bloody pirate radio stations. Radio pirates are fairly dissimilar to real pirates. There are less parrots and more grime. They could possibly wear eyepatches but I wouldn't know as they are on the radio and I can't imagine hooks would help with all the equipment. Which is why Abu Hamza doesn't have a radio station either. Although it could be good for scratching records. I mean actually scratching them. 

I have listened to lots of pirate radio in my time although only an incredibly small portion of that has been on purpose. Generally they like to barge into whatever you're actually listening to then play music you don't really like in very poor quality. Even if you do like the music the radio DJ's often seem to forget they've just put a track on as they like to do 'shout outs' all over the track. Luckily pirates don't live on the motorway. If I do suddenly I miss the constant fuzzy interference I'll start shouting random names over each song whilst having an inability to pronounce consonants. 

It'll be my first time in the 'pool since it is no longer the European City Of Culture. I wonder if now they don't have to impress everyone they'll have torn up 'La Princesse' for scrap metal and used the bronze coin payment to return to buying rabbit ears and chips for hen do parties. I'll report back tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bangor(s) and Mash(ed up due to lack of sleep)

See what I've done there with the title. Its just for me. I chuckled slightly as I wrote it and then felt guilty afterwards at how bad it is. I feel a bit deliriously tired today after last night's journey. Its not really fair complaining as I only drove to the tiny historical village of Beaconsfield where I was then picked up by Barry Castanogla who drove us like a driving legend all the way to Bangor in his very nice car. I was worried about leaving my car for 8 hours somewhere that I had no familiarity with until I got to Beaconsfield. The area was so nice that my grubby little car was frowned upon amongst the beemas, mercs and 4x4 monstrosities that were in abundance. I was almost hoping that instead of a break in they might just take my car and replace it with something better out of pity. No such luck. 

The gig in Bangor was brilliant. A lovely packed savvy crowd that were very up for the show. However even the great atmosphere as we arrived didn't stop me and Barry feeling very sluggish and knackered from car cabin fever (or car-bin fever as I like to call it). Dan Nightingale helped not only with his good hat and great MCing but also by finding the base of a flight case on wheels in the dressing room. This was then used for much skateboarding antics and several moments of nearly dying by smashing our faces into tables, all of which strangely provided the antidote for sleepiness. There is nothing like nearly smashing your face into a table to make you wake the hell up. Dan then had a great night even though he insisted he didn't because he's an arsehead and then both Barry and me had really great sets too. I've only ever gigged with Barry once and havent gigged with Dan in about a year so it was nice to watch material I wasn't familiar with for once. All in all it seemed brilliant. Until we started to drive back. 

There is nothing to ruin your evening quite like a 5 hour drive home in the rain. If you don't believe me, you should try it. Next time you have a really great night out recommend to everyone afterwards that you drive straight to Bangor and see how much you hate life. We managed to keep our sanity by listening to Russell Kane on Five Live. He started on the show by saying that at this time of night he would usually be driving home from a gig with a ginsters on his lap. We were in such a situation and in desperation for some entertainment we texted in a hello saying where we were hoping for a sympathy mention. It didn't happen as instead they talked about clever stuff and Russ texted me saying it was too serious a show for him to do that. It was fair enough although part of me would have loved it if in the middle of talking to loads of workers in the car industry about how their lives were going completely wrong to suddenly say ' Sorry we have interrupt your crying there David at Nissan, but sod your unemployment and hello to Barry and Tiernan who on their way back from Bangor and about to get their Ginsters!' I don't think that would have belittled the issue at all. Well not loads anyway. 

On the mega journey home we saw in a service station all the new flavours of Walkers crisps they are trialing. As a sucker for these things I went for the 'Builders Breakfast' flavour and Barry went for 'Fish and Chips'. We considered 'Chilli and Chocolate' and even the 'Cajun Chicken' but it was 2am and it felt like we were taking a risk already. I can safely say that 'Builders Breakfast' does indeed taste exactly like it says, only if a builder had sicked out a breakfast all over someone's crisps. As I kept burping up the taste of wrongness all the way home I could just see Gary Linekar's smiling big eared face cackling as he knew people everywhere were chewing his foulness. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You say Bognor, I say Bangor. Lets Call The Whole Thing Off.

I have to go to Bangor in North West Wales today. Imagine the furthest place you could think of. Bangor is further than that. Much further. There are rumours that when Columbus said he would sail to the ends of the Earth, his crew stated that that was fine, but they won't go as far as Bangor because that would take ages. I didn't realise I would be making such an epic journey today, as Martyne, my agent, had put Bognor in the diary instead. Martyne is normally 100% right about gigs and many things, but on this she was 183 miles wrong. I can't blame her at all because on looking at the words and the similar letters I can see that it is a fairly easy mistake to make. Sadly, these sort of mistakes can cost lives. Well a portion of lives anyway. About 10 hours of driving to be exact. I have a gig coming up at the University of East Anglia in a few weeks. I really hope I don't find out the day before that its the University of East Africa. 

Its another University tonight too, which will make three this week after last night. It was another odd one yesterday too. By no means bad, although sadly it was a lot emptier than the last time I did it. The Bucks Uni campus I was on is primarily for Nursing students and all of them were on placement this week meaning it was a handful of students doing much less useful courses that will help them endure a career only within a JD Sports. Its a shame as one of the reasons for doing this gig is that while yes, its a nice gig, and yes, its only 30 mins drive from my flat, a large plus was also looking out into a sea of young nurses. That can never be a bad thing. It all went fairly well though and as per usual with recent comedy gigs, they preferred me insulting their friends rather than listen to any jokes I have. What did worry me, is once again I was forced to talk to the bar manager who, following suit so far this season, was the sort of person who insisted on giving you jokes to tell on stage, despite the fact that all of them were sexist, racist and/or massively shit and unfunny. A lot of people do this, and often it happens just before or after a gig, but its increasingly scary how many students like to pass on the racist gags. This bar manager in particular was insisting that I talk to the indian guy in the front row about how many samosas and poppadoms he eats. Apparently it was a funny joke between mates. I explained that I was neither his mate nor did I find it funny, it just sounded racist and then he told me jokes instead about chaining women to the kitchen. Its possible time travel has been invented and this man has been shot from the 1970's unwillingly into todays society. Its a shame he wasn't just shot. 

It does make me wonder if Prince Harry was just doing what the rest of his generation were doing and being very racist. It would be the first time ever a member of the royals was being down with the kids, albeit for all the wrong reasons. 

Can everyone leave Jonathan Ross alone now please? Its just getting extremely dull and a massive waste of news. He's meant to insult elderly mental ladies! Its what he was hired for in the first place! MP David Davis has said 'On Radio 2 you don't expect X-rated references to sex'. Well I don't expect MP's to waste their time giving a toss when the economy is buggered and the world is a mess. I also do expect those kind of references on Ross's show. Thats what he does. If it bothers you, don't listen to it. In fact don't listen to anything ever again. You are clearly dead inside and an idiot. Its a shame that there can't be some sort of parental control for radios and television that stops self righteous Sun-reading bigots who are so far up their own arse from ever watching anything more interesting or less vacuous than Loose Women. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mo' Money

I've just got off the phone after being politely angry towards the people at MBMA. They were employing all the friendly friendly tactics they could to keep me paying obscene amounts of money for a useless service. Lots of useless polite pre-amble was had including the call centre man asking me what the weather was like in London and then man proceeded to tell me he lives in Chester which apparently isn't as nice as they make out in Hollyoaks. I told him he was wrong about this. Its much nicer and the people in real Chester can act better. After all this nice chat I told him I wanted to cancel me paying them stupid money for stupid things I don't really need and he acted like I had personally stabbed him in the face. It was as though he believed we had been friends for years and I'd just told him I'd slept with his wife. After the initial shock he back peddled over all the benefits for ages and I kept batting them down like moles on that game where you hit moles with a hammer. 

I spent some time reading through Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert website this weekend trying to find ways to be less broke. Martin Lewis knows everything and I like to believe that even with his salary he only eats Tesco Value products or things from Lidl and is constantly changing his credit cards to have 0% interest. I fear however that there will be a reveal on him and he spends his life throwing money at passing cats. I suppose he could always stand his ground that he has saved so much money that he can now throw money at cats if he likes. And he does. 

I am very very broke this week. If you have £10 and you want to give it to me, I really wont complain at all. Tonight's gig pays in cash which will be a relief. Its at the lovely Buckinghamshire University. A place, I am told, that has radio adverts that state it is 'the college with the knowledge'. Surely all college's should have knowledge? Apart from Hull which just has a distinct lack of fish smell of course. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Money for Nothing

Tonight I am getting paid not to go to Hull. I'm sure many of you are thinking that this is massively unfair, especially as you are not going to Hull either, but you are not being paid for that. It was looking forward to tonight's gig at the uni and it would have been a fun trip heading up with two acts I like, but being given a cancellation fee to not drive for eight hours is not something to complain about. It is possibly something to dance about but I wont do that either. 

I remember considering going to Hull uni at one point. I watched the video at our 6th form showing what the place was like and the whole advertising slogan was that it 'Doesn't smell of fish'. It was an odd angle to take for a video that was meant to encourage prospective students. Other uni's said things like 'we have a great gym facility', or 'we have a theatre on campus', but Hull was quite content with informing you that above all else, it does not have the smell of fish. Perhaps all the people of Hull think that everywhere else constantly smells of fish and they live in the UK's only fishless smelling haven.  I wonder if that was the lure for many people. 'For God sakes, if I go to another uni that smells of fish I'm going to forget being a student for ever and just sell crack to children! Oh wait, what's that....'. The uni I went to did sometimes, on rare occasion, because of a leather factory nearby, smelt of horrible burning cow skin. That was not nice. They didn't warn us at all on the video of this. I should have been wary. 

The only time I did go to Hull was several years ago, when I travelled up with Alexis Dubus and we did a gig in a pub that when comedy wasn't on, it had live wrestling. It was one of my first very long journeys to a gig and we survived a hellish journey of rain so hard I had to drive at 30mph on the motorway because I couldnt see. There was a mish mosh of acts and amongst them the lovely Sarah Millican and Steffen Peddie who were both great to meet and told us tales of the Northern circuit. It was a strangely fun gig, although a little Phoenix Nights, an atmosphere that was exaggerated by the twinkly red curtain on the stage. I also got my first and only ever speeding ticket that night on the way back. I tried to explain to the traffic services that I was just trying to get out of Hull as quickly as possible but they didn't think that was a suitable explanation. They couldn't understand why I would want to leave somewhere that clearly didn't smell of fish. 

So its a shame I wont be returning although I'm sure I'll back there soon. Think of me tonight as you, like me, are not going to Hull. If, by some odd chance you are, then do enjoy that lovely lack of fish scent. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lost Post

Our postman has only delivered mail once this week. On tuesday. That is all. I know there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, including the possibility that we just have not had anything sent to us in ages. The problem with that theory is I know we have had loads of stuff sent to us. In fact probably more than normal, and some of them are cheques for me. So the only real explanations could be that a) our postman is crooked, b) our postman is dead and no one knows, c) our local post centre is crap, d) our local post centre has been blown up and no one knows or e) we have a new postie who's put all our mail in the upstairs flat's door.

I hope for the postman and post people's sake that its not b) or d). However if it is a), then its possible that b) or d) could happen, depending on just how crooked our postie is. I mean, he could be using my cheques to fund a terrorist regime or mafia establishment. No one would expect that of a postie. Although when they put Postman Pat on in Japan they had to add an extra finger to each of hands otherwise his 3 fingers indicated he was a member of the Yakuza. That is a Postman Pat episode I'd like to see. Mrs Goggins receiving a letter that says if she doesn't pay up she'll have her face cut up. 

I also hope its not e). Our local postman is a funny little man who lives two doors away from us. I know this because when we first moved in he rang the doorbell. He didn't have a package and instead handed me the post and asked me lots of questions about who we were and why we were in our flat. After cautiously explaining that we had just moved in, he said 'Oh great, well welcome to the street I live two doors down!' and shook my hand. He now likes to ring the doorbell just to engage in banal chat every now and then. Which will no longer happen if he is b), which would explain e). I also hope its not e) because our upstairs neighbour is an extremely dodgy little cockney man called Terry. You will note there are lots of little men on our road, which is why I feel at home here. Terry is a handy man with a grey mullet, moustache and as many items of typical cockney clothing you could mention. His wife left him some years ago and now regularly he goes to Thailand for 6 months at a time. I can't be sure but everything about him rings of paedo. And he's away for 6 months so I wont get that post back anytime soon. 

Also lost is Lost. Two episodes in to the new series and I'm not sure about it. Its like the politician of television shows. It never answers questions just responds with more questions or answers that seem to have ignored everything they have been asked. Apparently this is the penultimate series and I'm quite glad because after having four series of trying to get off the island, they finally do, and now the story line is that they have to get back on it. I'm sure that when they get back on it, they'll want to get off again. Fickle bastards. If they end it with the whole thing being just a dream I will send our postman to steal all their fan mail. Or deliver shit in a bag to them. Unless of course he is b). 

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Generation Game

One of my favourite parts of gigging is journeying with people I like. Last night I drove me and Andrew O'Neill all the way to Stafford. We parlayed about many a topic from the state of the world all the way to bladder control, stopping halfway through for Andrew's specialist subject of Norwegian Black Metal bands trying to out evil each other. This is a subject I knew nothing of before but now feel very knowledgeable about. I am particularly glad that 'out-eviling' someone is not a day to day target for dictators or the world would be a truly terrible place. Out-Eviling is such an odd idea outside of the metal world. I understand out-running. If someone challenged me to a race, I would want to out run them. I wouldn't be able to, and I'd be out of breath in two steps but the concept would not evade me. However if someone gutted the eyes out of a puppy and challenged me to do better, I don't feel I cold reciprocate. Unless it was Paris Hilton's dog, then I'd kick its face off. 

It was a top journey though and a gem moment was Andrew finding an old Sean Lock cd in a service station on the way. Sometimes I forget due to his constant relegation to panel appearances that Sean Lock is such a truly brilliant stand-up. There is a joke on the CD about moments that aren't funny or dull and it made me accidentally snort some water up my noise. Which is quite dangerous when on the M6. If I had killed us both in that moment I would hope that Sean would feel both a tad guilty and a little bit proud. 

The gig was a lot of fun. There are two campuses at Stafford Uni that do comedy and one of them is a gig where it looks like someone has stuck a stage in a Starbucks without telling anyone. This was the other gig thankfully. They were a great up for it crowd and despite feeling mega rusty, I managed to bang out a 35 min set including new stuff and dealing with two heckles all of which made it fun. There were one or two lulls here and there which mostly made me feel extremely old. One happened during a bit of current topicalish stuff I'm doing, which halfway through I realised students don't have any knowledge of the outside world. When I was a student the biggest news was what bars were doing drinks promos and who got kicked out of the venue. This is why if you ever read a University newspaper you will find it dull and unexplainably smug. 

The other lull happened during occasional cultural references that I made, which were 10 years too early for anyone in the crowd who was born in 1990 (ie. all of them). 1990?!? I know. Its wrong isn't it? Someone in the crowd whistled and I mentioned 'One Man and His Dog' which they had no idea about! How could such a pivotal show about shepherding be avoided? It was technically the beginning of reality TV. Without someone whistling and yelping while a dog ran around a bit for what was possibly the dullest half an hour on television, Big Brother would probably never exist. Well it would have done, but it wouldn't have shepherds on it. Which it doesn't now. Perhaps thats what's wrong with it? 

The MC last night was not so much an MC but a bar manager who told a few racist jokes before we went on. I expected them all to receive boos, but oddly the crowd went for them. Then afterwards a black guy in the front came up to me and told me his favourite racist jokes and that his nickname at uni was 'Nignog', which he found funny. Is that what has happened with racism? The world has gone so far round the circle of anti-racism that it has become racist again? I tried to explain to him that Martin Luther King would be turning in his grave hearing that, but he didn't know who Martin Luther King was. I hope for his sake he ends up in North London with those friends who gave him the nick name and watch as they are quickly decimated. 

So a good show, but I have somehow left with the first impressions of some this year's batch of students as racist, ignorant shepherd ignoring people. I feel its my duty to change this. I have university gigs Sunday through to Tuesday and will endevour to spread the words of Dr. King, Jon Snow and Pilger and the whistlings of Phil Drabble. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Virtual Twittering

My website is finally up. I am very excited that I now have a virtual presence. I feel I am now in league with the rest of the world. It has lots of stuff on it too. Luckily other people have given me their opinion and the amount of stuff on it has become restrained. The possibilities of what you can do with a website are far too vast. I'd quite like to put up pictures of all the animals that make me laugh but apparently thats not professional. And it would take up too much webspace. I'm very pleased with what's up there though and I hope that the four people that look it at will like it too. If you fancy having a peek, then its at 

I'm not sure why but I've also joined Twitter. People have been telling me how great Twitter is and all the things you can do with it and those people have clearly been lying. Its sole purpose seems to be status updates, which you can do on facebook and spying on other people's status updates, which you can also do on facebook. Somehow someone has created a site entirely based on a bit of facebook. Is that even allowed? I mean points for gall and all that but its bit rubbish. The worst thing is, is that while I may enjoy seeing status updates on FB, its possibly the most tiresome aspect of the site. Things popping up all the time telling me someone is tired, bored, looking at a shoe, changing their religion, is cold, is hot, is doing something else thats massively meaningless to you and the rest of the world and no one really cares. Now with Twitter this one aspect is an entire reason for a site. Its like they want to waste your life away. 

Still, I am hooked. I've already added two incredibly pointless status updates today that are of the calibre that makes me hate others. I'm am basically just building up self-loathing. Maybe that's all Twitter is. Some sort of device to make everyone hate their own worthless lives to keep moral low for some sort of conspiracy so the government can prey on our insecurities. I might send that theory to people and get them all scared. BarackObama is now following my updates apparently. Maybe we should be scared. Or maybe he realises just how integral I am to the changes that need to happen in the US. 

Considering how important I am, why not follow my crap at:

Bring on the self-hate! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Funny Here

The problem with promising yourself you will write a daily blog is that sometimes, like today, my brain is so tired and vacant that there is little to write about. Nothing rubbish happened yesterday and in fact it was pretty good day overall, which sadly makes it very dull for everyone else to read about. I've never found having a good day so bad. 

Last night went all too well. It was odd because there was a point in the evening when all the acts were there, the show had sold out and everything was running to time and I almost felt panicked that there was nothing to panic about. This is clearly some sort of mental issue. That feeling didn't last long, because as the show started everything ran so ridiculously smoothly. The crowd were stupidly great, all the acts stormed it and even my new material worked. Even the bits I'd written that afternoon about the inauguration worked. Thats just not right is it?If it wasnt that they were so great I would have started to think that the audience were idiots. Or robots with canned laughter programs. They loved everything. I shouldn't complain about that, but its really all I have to go on. Yesterday was so good that the only bad thing I can find is that the audience were too good. I'm sorry. Next gig I will break our spotlight or accidentally stab someone in the audience just for you. 

People with good lives must be horribly boring. I can't imagine having a chat with someone who only has stories relating to how good things are. I bet Obama's having a good day although he did only get to spend ten minutes at each ball he had to attend after his inauguration. That would be crap. If I became President the first thing I'd do is drink my face off at the best ball and go round hugging people shouting 'I'm the President! Woohoo!' If anyone complained I'd send them to Death Row. He really should do some of that. Then of course I suppose his life would be too good and his blogs would get dull. I can empathise with Obama entirely. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Era

Its a big day for the world today. The sort of day that heralds the dawn of a new era. Yes, thats right, its the return of Fat Tuesday tonight after our blissful four week hiatus. Its looks like it'll be a sell out show and its a truly great line-up, but as usual I'm full of stress about it all. You'd think that after running a night for four years I'd be used to it by now, but I live in eternal worry that the gig will go wrong for some reason. It has in the past. The reason we are in the venue we're in now was because three years ago we got booted out of our previous home due to the landlord getting into fisticuffs with our headliner. Thats not what you want at a gig ever. 'Yeah tonight I fancy a comedy night. What would be great would be some food, laughs, then brutality.' Its almost a flyer for some sort of back alley Jongleurs. Or just any Jongleurs. 

I love MCing my gig but I hate all the other aspects of running a gig. All the admin and cash issues are a pain, and booking it is a nightmare. Especially when you receive emails and calls on a daily basis asking for spots. Now I'm all about introducing new talent, but I receive some stupid stupid requests. Last season someone sent me an email stating that they had done 50 gigs (proper veteran of the circuit then), and were doing spots at the Comedy Store (The Gong Show, not the proper nights) among others and saw our line-up and thought they would fit perfectly on the bill, complimenting the night. Our bill that night was Stewart Lee, Phil Kay, Tom Deacon and Nat Luurtsema. As far as I was concerned that person's head was so far up their own arse they could kiss their own face. I'm not sure how that would work but I'd like them to try. 

I have a feeling tonight will be good though. Its a good line-up and I've actually got some new jokes so our regulars won't hate me for churning out the same old crap which will be nice for them. Unless the jokes are rubbish in which case I will be as tiresome as usual. 

Oh and its Obama's Inauguration today, which I suppose is fairly big news. I'm not sure which is more monumental. The fact that America gets its first black president or that finally after 8 years George Bush fucks off and leaves the world alone. I'm hoping we can enjoy both elements and as Obama delivers his speech there will be a moment where Bush is led onto the stage and then kicked off it as a symbol of a new America. I'm sure Obama will be better than Bush, although that's not very hard when you think about it. A button pushing chicken would be better than Bush, so Obama doesn't have to try very hard. Already he can other countries on a map, so he's winning. I'm just worried that because Bush was so bad, Obama recognise will seem like a breath of fresh air whatever he does. He's already pledged lots of money to the Israelis, which he did just days after the number of innocents dead reached 1000 and then they hit the UN building. Rather unlovely timing I think you'll agree. Lets hope he doesn't 'Not Bush' excuse to his advantage and decide tomorrow to bomb Iran, while spraying deodorants in the air and driving his 4x4 round and round in circles. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dog Shit and Ikea

I stepped in dog shit twice yesterday. Those who are believers of superstition might say that I have had two helpings of good luck. Those who are realists would say it is doubly as unlucky to step in dog shit twice on the same day. There is nothing lucky about stepping in dog shit. Luck has never visited anyone in the forms of a smelly shoe and disease. The worst thing is that the dog shit in question is on the steps to our flat, and in the dark was impossible to see. Its almost like someone has 'No Fido, not there by the tree, over here on this residential property'. I hope my cats shit in that person's garden on their duraniums. 

The aforementioned shite was received whilst carrying an armchair out of our flat and a table into it, thanks to one of my girlfriend's spur of the moment refurnishing ideas. She has these fairly often and will just decide to change things around the house without any prior warning or discussion. A few months ago I came home to see her hanging nails into the wall and hanging various hats on them because it made a nice display. Previously the hats were in a draw and I didn't think the wall looked too bad all by itself but apparently I am wrong and have no idea, which is highly possible. The last place I lived in before having a girlfriends superstition had just a Radiohead, Wu-Tang and Spiderman poster on the wall and while I thought at the time that was the kind of decor likely to be featured in New Homes magazine, I'm fairly sure now that that long haired loon Llewelyn Bowen would spit at it. 

Yesterday's idea was that we needed a table as we don't have a proper one. Cue a trip to Ikea on an otherwise pain free day. Strangely enough, while I feared for our relationship we were in and out in an hour, with no arguments whatsoever. To be fair this isn't that surprising. Layla and me never argue about anything. We once get a bit irritated with each other in the supermarket about some bread. Neither of us remember what it was for but it is now always used as reference point. Whatever it was, I was right. 

What did make me angry in Ikea was everyone else. We were in the Edmonton branch where someone was killed on opening day and I understood why as soon as we got there. Its full of idiots.  I nearly chinned a man who thought the best way to use a trolley was by swaying it across the aisles and I had a few bouts of verbal people rage as is prone to happen when an area is filled with fuck wits. The worst were a bunch of women fawning over a baby in the middle of the aisle that led to the check outs. This display of broodiness was causing a pile back all the way to plant pots. I was sorely tempted to drop kick the child into the shoe racks in order to leave. Luckily the rage was calmed by the 55p vege hotdogs at the end. Its almost like they planned that as a sedative. Before you can shout they stick a sausage in your gob. 

The table is the first item from Ikea that didn't have a piece missing which is usually your penance for kicking someone while in the bathroom section. I think that the dog shit and the withholding of anger meant the table was up in 20 minutes. I now have something a bit better to write on and the cats have four new scratching posts. Maybe I should step in dog shit more often. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Death of a Legend

Not much to say today apart from being a bit sad at the death of Tony Hart. True he hadn't been on telly for 8 years but his legacy of being able to create masterpieces by scribbling with a crayon on black paper and scratching bits off to make a picture and other such wonders will always live on. Without him, many would be lost at how to make a collage with those odd polystyrene things and the versatility of slightly crinkled tissue paper. 

It was Tony Hart that inspired many a work of art from me. That piece with the macaroni and lentils that was meant to be two owls, but in retrospect looks more like someone sicked out some soup ingredients. That was you Tony. All that artistic nature that I now don't use remotely and probably never will again. 

What saddens me most, above all the greatness of Mr Hart, is who will look after Morph now? What will happen to the little growly plasticine chap? Without a dad he will remain confused and baffled at many a stationary object in his vicinity. He needs Tony's giant hand to move it or show him what to do with it. No one will understand what he says, and he will probably be admitted to some sort of speech development school where it won't be realised that he voice box is made of Play-Doh reducing him to simple grunts. I hope for his sake his is adopted by someone nice like Neil Buchanan. He's the only arty man I could think of since that other one killed himself. 

Rest in peace Tony. I hope at your funeral they have the decency to play the Hart Beat theme tune and decorate the coffin in water based colours. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Edinburgh and/or Bust

Comedy people are already starting to talk about the Edinburgh festival even though it is not for another 7 and a half months. There are few things that are discussed quite as often on the circuit as the festival. August is spent at the fringe, with most conversations being about how its all going. September to October is generally asking everyone how their fringe experience went. November people start asking whether you'll be going back next year, and then that remains the topic of conversation until the following August. You might say its because comedy-centric people have no imaginative social abilities to discuss anything else but its actually because its a big event in the entertainment world. 

My plan is to take a solo show to the fringe this year. That seems like a fairly solid idea, until yesterday when I started to recall all the elements you have to think about as well as writing and performing a show. Firstly there is finance. To head to Edinburgh this year, unless I find a rich benefactor, I may have to sell off some organs. I'm fairly sure I don't need both my kidneys so that could be a plan. Although the booze that I will be consuming in Edinburgh will probably call for the use of two kidneys rather than one. Its not all elements of the festival that are expensive but certain are worse than others. Accommodation for example. The citizens of Edinburgh are so annoyed that performing wankers take over the city for the month of August that the only way they can deal with it is by renting out their homes at prices that would allow them to buy ten other flats and go on the best holiday of their life. Meanwhile you are broke, living in a flat thats full of damp and hasn't been cleaned in four years and in a city that wont stop raining in the summer. 

This expense, along with venue rental, PR, printing and having to eat and live when you are not earning for a month is normally something that you just take into consideration and know that September will be spent scavenging for food in bins. However, this year with that ol' credito crunchy there are worries whether it will be worth it or not. Will any punters be going this year when their hard earned pound will only pay for the tenth of a show by someone they've never heard of and could end up with them wasting an hour of their life they will never get back because someone wanted to only do jokes starting with the letter z in the form of interpretive dance? There was a massive drop in ticket sales (partly because the fringe box office collapsed) and it could be worse this year. 

On the plus side there might be more foreign tourists buying tickets now that the pound is worth the same as a child's drool. On the minus side none of the foreign tourists will really get any of the comedy shows. Another plus, there should be less shows going up this year so less competition. However this could also mean less important people bothering to see shows and the feel of the festival just dwindles away. Although there are some great venues and good schemes going on such as the Five Pound Fringe which should help things along. No downside to that one. 

So some choices to be made about whether I should break, nay destroy, my bank or not. At least at the moment I am confident about the show itself. I haven't written it all by any means, but I have a much stronger idea about what it'll be about and I have one page of spidery notes that when I try and read them I get confused about what any of them mean. At least I still have 7 months to sort that bit out. Oh, and any rich benefactors reading please get in touch at the usual address. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Food Glorious Food

Last night my cousin, her boyfriend, me and Layla all went for a meal at a place called Jai Krishna in Stroud Green Road. Jai Krishna is a legendary vegetarian indian restaurant that has been rated as one of the best in London since the 60's. Amazingly they have not changed the decor in nearly 50 years, and all the chairs and table are the sort that you might find in a community centre. Instead of a waiter coming to take your order, they give you the menu, a pen and a pad of paper and you do it all yourself. Basically, they know they make amazing food so they don't give a shit about any of the rest of what is expected from a restaurant. They're not rude, in fact the people there are lovely, they just don't mess about and do what they're good at. I like this about the place. Of course it only works because the food really is amazing. They couldn't operate the same attitude towards the service and have crap food because it would fail. Although I once went to a place in New York where all the waiters and waitresses were on rollerskates. Frankly, I didn't care what they gave me to eat, I just sat there waiting for them to fall over or drop things. They never did and they even had to go up and down steps at times. I left in a combination of awe and disappointment. 

I eat a lot of curry yesterday. Its hard not to eat a lot of curry sometimes. After two weeks of healthy eating, last night's meal was almost like a quick gasp of edible oxygen. It had vegetables in it so I also feel like it might have been a bit healthy. Surely vegetables in any format must be better for you than no vegetables at all? If you weigh up the odds drinking a bottle of tomato ketchup can only be healthier than eating a twix? 

Speaking/typing of food, and I have been, Louis was extremely disappointed that I did not discuss his soup in yesterday's blog. He doesn't seem to understand that in the world of Jack Bauer there is no time for soup. If Jack ever stops to make soup, let alone eat it, then the world would be at risk. You never hear him shout 'Goddamn it, we have to find the soup!' Louis doesn't understand this and would much prefer that thousands of innocents die because he is a selfish prick. 

However good food does deserve a mention. My friend Luke's mum once made a lemon drizzle cake for us all to eat at our student house in Uni. It was so good that my friend Mat wrote his mum a two page A4 letter expressing his gratitude. It was that good. 

Louis' soup wasn't as good as the lemon drizzle of all time, but it was all that you want in a soup. Smooth and soupy but with the occasional chunk of parsnip to mix it up. Squash, parsnip and other stuff I didn't ask about mixed with some spicy stuff and seasoning. Served with some bread that was nice and spreadable Lurpak which is the only way to eat butter. Why on earth would you buy hard butter when you can buy spreadable? Although that little dude with the trumpet would look like he had brittle bone if he was made of spreadable and I guess we have to think about these things. 

On a non-food note and instead shamless self-publicity (linked only by both being forms of gluttony), my solo show London preview is now online and you can buy tickets and everything. The London date will be a panicky mess, but I would love some support and people to tell me what is shit. Twenty-eight people on Facebook say they will be there, but I suspect some of them are lying. Facebook does that, it provokes lies. The thought does not count on Facebook. 

The Leicester date is also online and will be better. Here they both are. 

London -

Leicester -

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Is The Longest Evening Of My Life

How amazing is it that 24 is back on? Last night using the illegal powers of the interweb I watched episodes 1 to 4 of the new season 7 and I can't stop being hyped by it. Season 6 was pants but they have really brought it back with this new season. So far (no spoilers, don't worry) there has been a suitable amount of violence, deceit and Kiefer Sutherland switching between being shouty and then pulling a sad expression and saying 'oh'. That is exactly what I want from a show. 

Jack Bauer is quite possibly one of the best and most hardcore fictional characters that television has seen. He could probably take out the A-Team, Knight Rider and Street Hawk (the shit one on a motorbike, with a great theme tune) and then afterwards he might cry about what he's done because he's human like that. I'd like to be like Jack Bauer. I have a CTU t-shirt that I got a few years ago. I used to wear it and run round Finsbury Park shouting 'Give me your bike, I can't tell you why. You're gonna have to trust me' which used to really scare kids. I am no longer allowed in the park, which is lucky because I can't run anymore either.

I got really upset one day when at my then day job at a housing association, two contracts said 'for a laugh', " CTU? I'll CTU mate." Ha fucking ha. I took one out with an elbow to the face then used his body as a shield while I shot his friend in the leg demanding they tell me where the bomb is. I didn't do that, I just got a bit sad. 

Thats what the show does to my imagination though. I have the 24 soundtrack and I can't play it when driving or I tend to drive like I'm on a mission. I love it when stuff affects me in that way, but I am slightly too susceptible. I spent ages trying to climb walls after Spiderman 1 and 2 (not 3, that was the most terrible movie in the history of movies, ever. Jazz dancing? Come on.) and last year after gong to see Mary Poppins with Layla's nieces and nephews, I spent the rest of the week singing about everything at home. Layla was partially deaf in about 2 hours. In fact its really lucky that after seeing Slumdog Millionaire last weekend that I haven't become a petty thief. Although I did download the 24 episodes so technically I am in the eyes of that man with the branding iron, and he is one angry man. 

One whole evening taken up with 24, I've only just started on the Wire, and Heroes and Lost start again next week. When will I have time for anything anymore? Perhaps this is someone's mass conspiracy to infiltrate my mind and use subliminal images to make me kill the president. I'm off to go hide in the cupboard till the posty arrives and I can torture him for information. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Penguin Art

I was going to be in Wales today and now I'm not. Its definitely a bonus in some ways, especially as I am about to go to my friend Louis' house for free soup. He's making it, its not free in some cup-a-soup deal. Or at least I hope not. I get excited about soup. Its lazy man food. I always feel they should advertise it with the slogan 'Are you too lazy to chew your food? Try...SOUP!' I should be an ad man. 

Last night I did a nice little gig in Wivenhoe. Wivenhoe is one of those places that you don't really expect anything from as it really has nothing in it. The gig was in a pub on 'the High Street'. I have certain expectations of a high street. These include various retailers, restaurants and kids hanging around to start trouble. This high street just had the pub on it. Its fair to say Wivenhoe is a modest little town. Despite the size of area, the audience was full and the people were lovely. One in particular was a man called Ian whose profession was as a vet. He had a truly ace animal related story. It might not make you laugh out loud, but hopefully you will be bowled over with its whimsy. 

I asked Ian what the most exotic animal he'd ever worked on was, and it happened to be a penguin who had swallowed a pencil. I remarked about how perhaps said penguin was trying to continue the publishing antics of his relatives. I give myself a small tick for that. Apparently though this poor penguin was bombarded by kids on a school trip and force fed a pencil. I'm not sure whether the kid was a genius and experimenting or an arsehole vandal trying to graffitti the inside of a penguin. 
This was apparently quite an easy job to fix apart from the fact that once the penguin joined his friends they couldn't work which one was which and had to x-ray the whole lot (which I really hope they did by making them waddle one-by-one through an x-ray machine). They never ending up finding the pencil and several days later a penguin just shat it out. I hope there was another school trip on that day so that children could witness the passing of stationary and forever think thats where pencils came from. We can but hope. 

All in all it was a nice evening with lovely turns from Tony Cowards, Gary Delany and Aaron Counter who I gave a lift home too and he brought cookies. That for me helps him rank among my list of good car passengers. Its a simple system to become a good car passenger. Just bring sweets. It might destroy my diabetes, but it warms my car driving heart. 

Time for soup! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Parking

Last night was a pretty good start to gigging again after my two weeks of slob. I was booked in for two gigs, but sadly the first one was cancelled due to the bleakness of a January monday. It seemed a nice venue too, but I was pleased it was pulled as I felt rusty and I was sure that performing to 12 people in a room that should hold 150 wouldn't be the antidote to my mental lethargy. On the plus side I didn't have to pay for parking in the nearby expensive car park because the attendant thought I was an idiot and needed pity. I'm fairly sure that's how he took my stressed face and ranting 'cos the ticket machine wasn't working and I was in a rush. Its amazing how incompetence can let you get away with anything. Several times now I have boarded buses for nothing by claiming ignorance that my Oyster card had no cash on it. Those people that have taken pity are doing the wrong thing. By using your kindness you are helping to breed a criminal and one day you will rue the day I was let off the £2.50 parking ticket when I am a master of the underworld. 

The second gig was the ying to the first's yang by selling out entirely. Old Rope is a damn lovely gig and as its a new material night only, its a great avenue to just throw bits of material at the crowd knowing they wont crucify you if its rubbish. Chances are they wouldn't crucify you if they wanted to because pub landlords are often against people carrying big bits of wood into bars. Unless they are tables. Last night however it felt like there was some pressure in doing new stuff because the room was truly rammed thanks to the presence of some bloke called Dave Gorman. Also the standard of acts overall was quite high so I quickly wished I hadn't written all my notes in an hour yesterday afternoon before getting distracted by the Xbox. 

Luckily the crowd were lovely and even my new bits about slightly touchy material (i.e Gaza and a cleverly disguised Baby P gag) went down very well leaving me with some new stuff that I will continuously forget to use at every gig for the next three months. The whole rest of the line up that I managed to catch was brilliant with some top new stuff from Carey Mark, Matt Kirshen said aids a lot and Holly Walsh had a great two people sketch with just one person in it. Dave Gorman closed with some truly great gags too and it was nice to see him back on the stage doing stand up. Especially as after speaking to him it appears he's just doing it because he felt like doing stand-up again. Its nice to know that so many people on the circuit are just dying to get into TV, radio and tapestries but that lots of people who do get there really miss the stand-up side to things. I wonder if that opinion would change if they found themselves in a service station off the motorway at 3am on a Tuesday night. Unless its Leigh Delaware or the M6 toll one because those are in my top 5 best ones. 

I ended up staying at Old Rope for far too long afterwards, adhering to my self imposed drinking ban and instead becoming the designated driver for an unruly mob who provided me with loads of in car entertainment for the journey home. It was fun but I'm always a bit rubbish around drunk friends when I'm really sober. Next time I'll have to drink heavily and drive them all home which would be the best of both worlds no doubt. 

Then this morning I was woken at 8.40am by Rosie, one of my cats, mieowing in my face till I woke up. Once I had woken up, she walked off. I'm wondering if I somehow asked her unintentionally for a wake up call. If I did then I'm an idiot for setting it so early and well done her for not letting me get away with it. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back In The Game

I can't believe the American's booed Sasha Baron Cohen's only decent joke last night. Watching Golden Globe footage this morning, the Madonna gag would've gone down a storm over here, even during this post Sachs comedy witch hunt. I have instantly lost a lot of respect for America's shallow image based Hollywood scene. I had no respect for them in the first place so they are now in minus respect in my books which should have them all quaking with fear no doubt. Watch the film scene crumble under my mere disregard for their lack of humour. 

I need some new jokes for today. I am kick starting my 2009 gigging by doing two shows tonight and I don't feel prepared for either of them. It is times like this I wish their was a comedy fuel akin to Asterix's magic potion that I could just drink and let the funnies roll. Asterix had it easy, defending Gaul against the might of the Roman empire. Give me that any day over writing new material. Of course you'd have to resurrect the entire Roman empire first, and that would take ages. 

I received some belated birthday presents from my 'in-laws' yesterday which was very nice of them. Nicer of my girlfriend really as she had picked them all, which makes it better for everyone in that her parents don't have to actually think about what to get me and I am more likely to like it. The other option would have been that all of us would have just felt awkward when I show a massive lack of gratefulness opening a present that turns out to be a wok. Thats what happened two years ago. I still resent the wok. 

The presents were all new clothes and seem to be part of Layla's plan to change my wardrobe because I clearly don't dress in the right way. I've never thought that my t-shirt and jeans combo was particularly bad but it is slowly being replaced by trendy cardies and shirts. On item was also a purple jumper. I have never worn purple ever and never sought to, but apparently I should. I'm fairly sure purple is a colour for girls and mental old people like in that poem. It suddenly occurred to me that old people also wear cardies and shirts. Could it be that Layla secretly wants me to dress like a grandad? Could it be only a matter of time before she can only get turned on by me saying such phrases as ' During the war...', 'In my day...' and 'Pass my teeth'? 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Productive Sunday

I woke up this morning and wrote two new sketches and some jokes. I'm not sure what has spurred on such creativity but it could possibly be that today I am not hungover which helps everything. Maybe 28 is a creative age especially when not full of booze. The sudden motivation I have acquired is pretty well timed as I have my first gigs of 2009 tomorrow and one of them is the lovely Old Rope. Old Rope is a great gig for trying new material and until this morning I didn't have any. Lets hope I can write a couple more as a 30 second set isn't really what anyone is looking for. I'm hoping several hilarious incidents happen to me today and tomorrow just so I can recall them in a witty manner. We are having lunch with Layla's family later today, perhaps I should start a food fight or go dressed as a monkey or something else that's droll but would be liked by E4. 

The rest of yesterday was a write off as predicted, until about 8pm when we dragged ourselves to the cinema and watched the critically acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire. I'm never quite sure what to think when things are critically acclaimed. I have the image of reviewers as the sort of people that feel they have to find something to pick on a film for otherwise they are not doing their job. 'Yeah everyone loved it but the bloke in the background on the 16th scene is wearing a shit t-shirt so I've only given it 4 stars.' At the same time if they have written lovely things about a film, I always wonder if they've been paid to do that, because there is no way Australia can be a 5 star film. I mean just look at it. Go on. It looks shit. 

I've discovered the best method is to text my film buff friend Stefan. He currently directs and makes short films, watches ridiculously vast amounts of films and if he could, would probably eat films. Although it would have to be in Super 70 or something like that and with a healthy sauce. 

He recommended Slumdog Millionaire and I can safely say its one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Sad in bits, uplifting in others, funny and well acted and directed. There is little you could critiscise about it. I tried to do a criticy thing and find one bit but Layla said I was being fickle. Another great aspect of the experience was that it was an over 18's screening of the film only which means no arsey kids were shouting things like 'Bo' and 'Na man na' when someone took a gun out on screen, and they weren't throwing popcorn at people as though they were trying to make the cinema experience that little bit more like the Krypton Factor. Well done Vue for being judgmental and ageist. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day Of Pain

Sorry for two brief blogs in a row, but predictably I am in massive amounts of hangover pain today. There were a number of things I was planning to do today and none of them were lying on the sofa holding my stomach and head and being a massively pathetic loser. I miss the days of youth when I could drink enough to kill a horse and then wake up the next day feeling chipper and jumping over lampposts. Now even a few pints causes my body to feel like I've been thrown off a bridge and my brain to feel like someone has chucked buckets of shit off the same bridge and by unlucky circumstances all of it has landed inside my head. 

It was a top night though and the pain is wholly worth it. Drinks with a few good friends in a small bar in Islington called Slim Jim's. I'd like to recommend it but then you might actually go and I quite like how hidden away it is. It felt almost like it was our own secret speak easy. In fact it took a while to find it because its barely marked. It makes it feel like youve earned a drink by using orienteering and detective skills just to get there. Sadly lots of other people did find it and it was all a bit ruined. Why other people felt they should come out on a weekend and talk and stuff in my bar that isn't mine but I wish it was, is beyond me. Bastards. 

Thanks to a few of my friends I am now a member of the Blu-Ray club. I've spent today watching the Dark Knight look even darker and knightier than on those ancient DVDs or tellys or things. I am so HD ready now, which is handy because HD is already here so surely being ready now is a bit pointless. I mean being ready before its arrived is fine, but now its here cant we all just go HD now or do we have to stay in the revving up phase? What's very sad is that while I really want to enjoy the blu-ray experience the even brighter and clearer pictures were not designed for the eyes of a hungover man. Those vivid colours are about as good for a headache as a hammer in the face. Its a present that has somehow also become a weapon against me. I wonder if that was planned. 

Speaking of which looking at the computer is making feel sick so I am going to crawl back under my duvet until everything stops being bad. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

I am older today. Getting older is a novelty that seems to wear off after being about 21. In reality, as soon as you turn 11 your body starts dying and shedding cells so its only really a happy birthday till you turn 11, then its just a countdown. I learnt that in science GCSE so it must be true. I've also learnt that if you put that in an eleven year old's birthday card they get very upset. 

Its only a short blog today because I don't like to work much on my birthday. I haven't really worked much all week though so I've actually more work already today than I have done all week which sort of ruins the point. Anyway, all todays blog will be is a small list of things that I'd like to achieve this year if possible, although if I don't I'm not really fussed. If you can make any of these happen then please let me know. 

1) I'd like to take a tiger for a walk in a park while other people are walking their dogs. Then my tiger could eat their dogs. 

2) I'd like to parachute into a party. The party must a) be pretty damn good, and b) have a large landing patch as I've never skydived before and I'm bound to screw it up if I have to land on a table. 

3) Use a T-Detonator on a building. Not in a terrorist way, just in the way you used to see them do on TV shows where they blow up a chimney stack. 

4) Do a solo show at the Edinburgh festival. This depends on a) money, b) me writing a show, and c) the whole festival not collapsing due to its extortionate rates and the credit crunch. 

5) Go on holiday. This depends on a) whether I do the Edinburgh festival and b) if I can afford to leave the country due to the extortionate exchange rates and the credit crunch. 

6) Win the lottery without ever buying a ticket. The odds are so ludicrous I'm sure this is possible. You'll see. 

7) Grow a foot taller. Then when I am 29 I will shrink a foot again. After this I will have the insight to know how tall people think and using that I will destroy them. 

Das ist alles. I am now to going to dwell in 28ness. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hair today

Its my birthday eve today. As a celebration for my last day of 27 years of age, I did the most adventurous thing I have done since Monday, which was leave the house. It was for a purpose too, which was to get my haircut as my barnet was starting to resemble something only seen on obscure members of bands that no one remembers the names of, or an unkempt Thundercat. There was a time when I would have done anything to be a Thundercat. Probably Tygra because he was clearly gonna get some with Cheetara and she was hot. For a half cat half human hybrid. Actually when you think about it like that it all seems a bit wrong. Especially because male cats have barbed genitalia. This is hopefully an issue that will be dealt with in the upcoming CGI movie which they will no doubt ruin and kids will grow up with a scarred image of 80's goodness forgetting all the morals of television programs and the miner's strike. Anyway I no longer want to be Tygra and the hair had to be dealt with. 

Going to get my haircut is always a more stressful experience than it should be. The lady who always cuts it does a great job. However, the job she does is with a razor blade, the old school way. This wouldn't matter too much, but she is from the Ukraine and has expressed a few times that the only comedy she likes is 'like slapstick, like when people get hurt'. I'm sure that's not what she means, but my imagination can only stray to thinking that she is some sort of KGB spy, and one day she'll use that razor for information. While I've always found small talk in the hairdressers tough, I can literally only manage a 'hello, how are you?' before the fear kicks in and I just stare at my own fat neck praying she wont cut it. Apparently she used to cut Ricky Gervais's hair when she worked near Victoria. Part of me hopes that is a subtle sign for my impending fame, while the more pessimistic and hateful part wishes she'd cut his throat just after the Office had finished. 

Had she slit my throat today though, I would have been able to joint the 27 Club along the with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. The chances of my surviving until tomorrow are fairly high, so I will have to cancel my membership for now, although my lack of musical ability probably counted me out some time ago. I wonder if I tap some spoons for long enough today then take a few paracetamol tonight I might be able to become an off peak member? Not loads of paracetamol mind you, just enough for a headache. If there is a club for every age that someone dies at then surely my great aunt who is part of the 103 Club is the winner for living longer. Admittedly the last few years of her life weren't really classed as rock and roll. Yes there might not have been booze and drugs but she did have lots of tea, and lots of drugs, only they were for other purposes than making her high. Only 75 years to go till the glory days. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taxing Times

My tax is due at the end of this month and its not ideal. Why would the government choose to ask for all your dosh straight after Christmas? Not only is it inconsiderate financially but also its a bit like saying 'Enjoy Christmas did you? Well lets just ruin your new year asap to make up for it.' As its my first tax year of complete self-employment I have to pay two years worth up front. I'm not sure why this is entirely necessary, as though they don't trust that I might pay next year so they'd better have it all now. I'm a fairly trustworthy bloke. Once when I was at school my mate Chris pushed a shopping trolley down a hill and it unluckily hit his mum's car and dented the door. To this day I've never said a word. I wonder if I regale the HM Revenue with that story they might let me off half my payment. 

And its the credit crunch. While it would be massively counter-productive, why don't government just let everyone off tax till its all sorted out? Probably because it would be massively counter productive. Well forgetting that idea, if anyone knows of any quick ways of making a lot of cash please let me know. At the moment I'm starting to consider selling crack. I don't know how you go about that but I reckon if I don't sleep for a few days and tear some of my clothes up I'll look like the sort of person that deals with the stuff. 

I don't like being broke. It requires a lot more imagination than when you are living comfortably. Suddenly instead of buying food that you would like to eat, you have to learn different ways in which you can cook that half a cauliflower, some butter, half a pot of jam and some flour tortillas together as thats all you have in the fridge. Instead of ever going out, all sociable activity must be conducted at your house, with your guests bringing the booze as a type of payment for the use of your property. On the plus side, none of my friends have been coming round, so unintentionally I've started detoxing for the new year. Every cloud as they say. 

I am spending to day working out how to cut costs. If only I can figure out a way to make the cats eat paper. Maybe if I drew cat food on it, it might fool them...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In From The Cold

I'm not leaving the house today. After opening the door just to retrieve the post I made the sensible decision that I don't really fancy frostbite and will be staying indoors until it gets warmer or I am forced outside by to fetch food or other survival items. I watched the Diary of Anne Frank on the BBC last night and they managed to stay in the attic for two years without going outside so I'm sure its possible. Admittedly they didn't really have a choice but that just means my will power is brilliant for being able to do it with a choice. It seems like its a good adaption on the Beeb, although I do hate watching a program that you know the ending to. Perhaps they should rewrite it so she survives or goes all vigilante just to surprise us. I'd pay good money to watch a thirteen year old gunning down the Nazis with a gun she'd made in her attic out of spoons and plum stones. 

Yesterday I managed to brave the outside world to go and do some writing in our local library. I haven't been in a library since university and imagined a world of knowledge and studying. I thought that perhaps by sitting in there, words might enter my brain through osmosis and I'd conjure up some works of genius. Sadly or local library is a little dark hole where the weirdos and losers who don't work on a Monday go. There were only a handful of desks and on one of them was a man who was barking at a book. Surely that goes against the 'no talking' rule? Or is that man in fact a genius who has realised the loophole of animal sounds? The one thing that really irritated me was a Playstation 3 connected to a television near the children's corner. How does that help with reading or studying? The whole reason I left my house was to avoid consoles and yet a PS3 was sitting there all smug-like beckoning me to waste more time. Needless to say I managed a meagre hour and half in there then ran home to stop playing on the PS3. 

I need to find a way not to get distracted by everything in my flat. Already I've restarted this blog three times due to facebook, a phone-call, and the cats knocking their dried food all over the floor. Its like the furballs don't want me to work. I'm sure I have a form of attention deficit disorder. Its got to the point recently where rather than do work for an hour I will clean up instead. Thats not remotely normal, especially as cleaning is even more boring than writing. I wonder if any of the classic novelists had a similar problem. I can't imagine Dickins sweeping his chimney rather than write any more about Little Nell. 

My brain isn't working properly today so I'm off to give in and watch my Ulyssess 31 box set. Sure I know what happens in the end, but they might surprise me and he might never get home and instead open up a DIY store in Delphi and sell a vast array of spanners. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Real Men Don't Eat Quiche

I've had a lot of quiche in the last few days. According to my friend Mat, real men don't eat quiche. I disagree with this bold statement but I do feel that in order to verify my manliness while eating quiche I have to eat a rather large man-size portion of the stuff. Consequently I have woken up this morning feeling a tad sick and far too full of quiche. What appears to have happened is that I have eaten too much quiche for my stomach to handle while completely vanquishing my virility with such large amounts of said quiche. You cant win. Unless you don't eat quiche. Or are a women who does. 

The quiche yesterday preceded going to see Stomp at the Ambassadors Theatre last night. This was not willingly (seeing Stomp willingly is one of Carl Donnelly's 3 reasons someone is a c*nt) but because my brother bought everyone tickets for Christmas. Now if I want to hear someone making noises by hitting a bin, I can get that for free by walking around my area at about 2am. Its not particularly musical when they do it, and its not so much hitting as falling into or shagging on the bins, but its similar in a way. Despite this, the show was actually pretty good and funny in places. It was a bit too long - there is only so much junk seven people can hit - but everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

What wasn't fun was the tall man's head in the seat in front of me. This seems to be a common occurrence in my life that people with excessively large heads or extremely tall people like to ruin every theatre show, cinema screening and music gig that I go to. The first ten minutes of Radiohead in Victoria Park last year was ruined by two 6'5"ers walking along deciding to stand right in front of me and talk all the way through the first two songs as though they wanted to ruin my day on purpose. I felt so unbelievably angry about it and if they hadn't been considerably bigger than me, I would have said something. 

I don't understand why there can't be some kind of height grading at these events. Why should it be that just because I am more hobbity in stature than most that I have to relate great music to the sight of the back of some gimp's head? All I suggest is shortest people go at the front, with heights increasing as you head to the back. Extremely tall people might get miffed that they are 3 miles from the stage but at 6'8" you can see from there so deal with it. Its not heightist, its just allowing people to work with their natural abilities. I'm all for putting short people things on small shelves so we can grab them easier, and tall people things on high shelves. Maybe they do that already and tall people still read porn mags? Maybe they do because they are too tall to use the internet? These are mysteries I will never know. Perhaps I will just have to ask Greg Davies...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Itchy Feet

Last night my girlfriend and I went for a nice dinner and evening with two of our friends. It was a top evening that involved several of my favourite things: beer, food, looking at Blu-Ray things on an HD TV, and playing Xbox with Terry while the girls talked about boring grown-up things like sofas, the credit crunch and weddings. I don't understand the need to chat about that sort of stuff when you can play World at War and shoot at Nazis in a virtual 1944. Its almost like you are really there, just without all the really bad stuff or the real bits and the trauma. I mean, actually its not at all like you are there, but after 40 minutes of playing I still felt a bit like Remembrance Day is a little bit about me and the way I used a flamethrower to burn a Japanese soldier out of a tree while Keifer Sutherland's voice told me to advance.  

What more could you want? Well there is a small part of me that wants to gig. It was far better than doing a gig in most ways and yet after two weeks of no gigs and no more gigs now until the 12th I'm starting to get anxious about getting back to work. Is that even remotely normal? Why the hell would anyone want to get back to work? Even if your work is so much better than other peoples' work and other peoples' work smells and is super boring in comparison? I haven't disliked being at home at all. My sofa and me have become the best of friends and there is a permanent bum shaped depression on one of the cushions that I fit into like a booze filled jigsaw piece. I really don't understand why there is a weird part of me cant wait to drive 200 miles to entertain people who pay money to watch comedy even though they don't understand jokes. It sounds nuts but I have itchy feet. Although that could be athletes' foot. 

So the new Doctor Who is a child? I reckon he looks Doctory so we should be ok. What I don't get is that after doing a degree, a masters and then a doctorate you are normally well old, so he must be hella clever to qualify that quick. Also how on Earth did he get such a normal name in the world of acting? No initials in the middle or anything! There must be a lot of other Matt Smith's that hate his eyes right now, and not just because they are so sunken it seems as though a hoover has been put on the back of his head and pulled them in. Still I'm looking forward to seeing what he does, and pray it isn't just squeeze spots and get excited cos he has some stubble. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Demonstrating and Doctors

I've just returned from the Stop Gaza Massacre demonstration in central London, hence the lateness of today's blog. It was an incredible event, with the 55,000 people turn out proving that many are horrified at Israel's barbaric attacks over the last week. We marched from Embankment to Trafalgar Square and then listened to some of the brilliant speeches about the action that needs to be taken. Then I chickened out and went home because I was freezing and I wanted to find out who the new Doctor Who is. 

This sort of prioritising makes me often feel guilty that I am doing it all wrong. I started out today with all the right intentions of showing support for the people suffering in Gaza and left because I couldn't take being a bit chilly. Its a sort of middle class supportiveness which lasts only as long as I am coping with it, which isn't really good enough. I often wonder if its that sort of selfishness that has played a part in my apathetic generation. When I was at uni only a handful of people travelled to London for the Stop The War marches, while most others couldn't be arsed and preferred to get drunk in the uni bar instead. The illegal war was only second place to £1 vodka shots and shit music. In fact the only issue I remember anyone being bothered about at that time was the 'Legalise Marijuana' march. It wasn't even much of a march as after a few smokes everyone decided it was easier to sit down anyway. Then after a few more spliffs passed round everyone had forgotten what they were there for in the first place. 

I'm pleased I went today and I hope that the disproportionate and illegal airstrikes on Gaza are to stop soon. For those of you that care, keep your eye on for the next demonstration and see you there. 

On a lighter note, I was sadly sucked in to Celebrity Big Brother last night. I really hoped it wouldn't happen, but then they went and put Verne Traya in there and no one can avoid the antics of a famous midget. I think its the clever tactics of any dying program. Put Verne Traya in something and people will watch if only to see his difficulty in getting up stairs. Verne Traya should be employed to star in anything that needs attention to it. Perhaps what the British financial system needs is Verne Traya in charge of the Bank of England. They announce the new Doctor Who in ten minutes. I am holding out hope that Verne will be named and they'll have to get a tiny ramp so he can ride K9 into the Tardis. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

One Hundred O' Clock

I am currently trawling the internet for somewhere to go on my birthday next week. Sadly for me, its on a Friday this year which means it's going to be very difficult to find a venue that wont be filled with Friday wankers. I don't like people that drink on a Friday. Two of my worst comedy deaths (out of five) ever have happened on a Friday, this must mean that Friday people are bastards. You can argue that that is not a very logical or reasonable conclusion but I would argue that I don't care what you say now go and wash your face. Hopefully, due to the poor timing of me getting older just after Christmas (as does everyone thanks to the continual process of time) it shouldn't be too busy as everyone's livers are already destroyed and moths have started to move into their wallets before end of January paychecks take residency once again.

Finding a venue is so much harder than it should be. I don't have a nice local where I live. All my locals are filled with the type of residents that would fight me if I so much as looked at them. They're the sort of people that would also fight me if I so much as looked at my shoes, my own hands, a book, or even just closed my eyes for the duration of being in there. They just look like fighty people. Looking at the wider base that is London you then have to find somewhere everyone can get home from, isn't shit, doesn't play music so loud you may as well all hang out while listening to your own i-pods, isn't shit, doesn't charge your life savings for booze and most importantly isn't shit. So far I have found nowhere. I am considering telling everyone to stay at home with some beer and we'll all just chat on facebook. At least I know I like my sofa, and I can have my stereo playing music I like at an appropriate level. I've just read that back and I am convinced I have become old.

Yesterday was a good first day of the year, having spent most of it at my girlfriend's parent's house eating a large amount of food. Quite a lot of Layla's family were there, including her 4 year old nephew. I hate to run with that cliche of 'don't kids say the funniest things?' but sometimes they really do. Angus (for that is his name) has a habit of saying quite imaginative things. Unfortunately he wasn't completely on form as his parents had let him stay up till 'one hundred o clock' on New Years Eve. That's later than I have ever stayed up, presuming that 100 o'clock is at least 4 days straight without sleep. He is like a mini-soldier, only one with a toy lightsaber instead of an actual weapon. Saying that, it does really hurt if he hits you with it.

Angus's best comment of the last year fell on Christmas Day when his older sister ran upstairs to exclaim that the Queen was on telly. She wasn't particularly excited about this, but like all 6 year olds, sometimes she just needs to tell people obvious things. Anyway, Angus's golden response was 'What? From the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe?' I wish I still lived in the sort of imaginative mind set where a queen must be the evil character in a fantasy story. Sadly she is instead an emotionless money sucking sack of institution. Here's to hoping that in 2009 she will be defeated by a bunch of kids and a talking lion.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Too Tousand and Nin

So its 2009 and already everyone seems to be predicting it ain't gonna be a great year. Last night on the Hootenany every celebrity interviewed predicted doom and gloom, while even Michael Caine on the NYE messages to London said 'This year I think what we really need is luck, so good luck everyone.' Of course you assume he means the financial situation but it could be that he is planning to play a lot of roulette. There's nothing like kicking off a celebration like causing mass depression. Whoop, Happy New Year everyone, now start crying and cutting yourselves, there is no hope.

And what will the next year bring? Well here is a few of my well informed and intelligent predictions. 

1) The credit crunch will reduce the pound, the euro and the dollar to the same value as potatoes. I have a whole bag of potatoes in my kitchen so I will buy France. 

2) Gordon Brown's twitch will become so excessive that his jaw will snap and consume his own head which oddly will result in everyone liking him much more than they did before. 

3) Amy Winehouse will officially pickle herself. Her body will be kept in the Natural History Museum in a wine vinegar mixture. Her hair will be removed and be used to house bees. 

4) Apple will bring out a new device that is like all its existing phone/music combination devices only its made out of polystyrene, called the i-foam. 

5) Monkeys wont be allowed. 

6) The UN will decide that for the benefit of everyone, at midnight on Dec 31st 2009, we will go back to 2008. The years will continue to go back until 1972 at which point they will just stop altogether.

7) Jon Snow will finally melt due to increasingly high summer temperatures. 

8) Russia will decide to stop all gas supplies to everyone because they will be using it all for their ovens in a national cook off. 

9) Guantanamo Bay will be closed, but will then re-open 18 months later as part of the Center Parcs holiday locations. 

10) The cure for cancer will be revealed after years of research. Apparently the trick is to just not get it in the first place. 

11) Jordan will collide with the Earth at a speed of 45,000mph causing a crater the size of Bournemouth, in Bournemouth, therefore, destroying Bournemouth.

12) Jehovah's Witnesses will lose all faith after doing a mass survey and collating the results stating that none of them are actually viable witnesses to anything and therefore the evidence wont stand up in court. 

So watch out for those events happening near you. I've eaten lots again today so my personal prediction is that I am now going to nap on the sofa for the foreseeable future. 'Appy Noo Yaa to you all.